HT Image
HT Image

An Italian affair to remember

Ritu Dalmia, chef and owner of Diva, Delhi’s well-known Italian restaurant, has just done what she swore she would never do: write a cookbook and host a cookery show on TV, Paramita Ghosh finds out more...
By Paramita Ghosh | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2008 10:53 PM IST

Ritu Dalmia, chef and owner of Diva, Delhi’s well-known Italian restaurant, has just done what she swore she would never do: write a cookbook and host a cookery show on TV. “When chefs start cooking for TV shows,” she says wryly, “they are not cooking enough. That’s what I used to say.”

Italian Khana, a Random House publication, and the television show based on the book, will air on NDTV Good Times from July 16. It targets the urban audience and offers them an Italian repertoire that can be cooked with local produce at home. “I’m a purist, so I have not Indianised the recipes,” says Dalmia.

To cook Italian in Indian kitchens, all you need is a fire, a spatula, a chopping board and you are ready to roll, she says.

“The book is not meant for an international audience. If you open a cookbook and see a mention of Maldon salt, I’m sure you will close it. So would I. Italian Khana is not that kind of a book.”

Dalmia has not laid the spread thin.

Several Diva classics have crossed over from the restaurant’s menu to the cookbook, her first. For instance: Spaghetti Olio Aglio made with oil, pasta and chilli; and Pasta Pomodoro, a tomato-based spaghetti, which is — as she says — the spine of
Italian food.

The complex naans, burras of Italian food are not part of the book. You don’t do it at home. Neither do Italians. What you do have are recipes of comfort food like Pasta Carbonara. Opportunities for showing off (try out the Beetroot and Goatcheese Risotto/Pork rolls with Gorgonzola and Ham) and a willingness to seduce (peaches poached with Red Wine).

The Indian connection is upfront — there are chapters named after the Carnal Chilli and the Voluptuous Eggplant. The chef has brought them to attention, she says because “eating as an experience of sense and sensibility” is common to both Indian and Italian cultures. “Indian food is not just about chicken tikka masala,” says the chef.

“Neither is lasagne the beginning and end of Italian cuisine. It’s a myth that Italians lay their cream and cheese thick. They also don’t believe in sauces.” It’s all there in the book. The proof of the pudding, in this case, will be in the reading.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Neha Pendse works in Marathi, Hindi and South cinema.
Neha Pendse works in Marathi, Hindi and South cinema.

Nehha Pendse: I always wished to play UP-based character

UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:44 AM IST
Actor Nehha Pendse is glad that finally she learnt the art of being a homemaker during the lockdown.
Close
Actor Anirudh Dave will be seen next in the film Bell Bottom.
Actor Anirudh Dave will be seen next in the film Bell Bottom.

Anirudh Dave: My film career never took off but TV gave me opportunity and fame

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:35 AM IST
Actor Anirudh Dave says he is happy to have got an opportunity to be a part of the Akshay Kumar starrer Bell Bottom.
Close
Sidharth Malhotra turned 36.
Sidharth Malhotra turned 36.

Rakul Preet Singh, Akshay Kumar wish Sidharth Malhotra on his birthday

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:20 AM IST
Actor Sidharth Malhotra, who turned 36, received birthday wishes from a number of Bollywood actors including Akshay Kumar and Rakul Preet Singh.
Close
Yashaswini Dayama in a still from Delhi Crime.
Yashaswini Dayama in a still from Delhi Crime.

Yashaswini Dayama: Big screen isn’t the ultimate goal anymore

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 10:58 AM IST
Actor Yashaswani Dayama says she loves the OTT system that’s giving talented actors, who weren’t getting opportunities earlier, but now have the scope to shine.
Close
Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Banerjee and Priyanshu Painyuli flew to Bhuj for the last shooting schedule of Rashmi Rocket.
Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Banerjee and Priyanshu Painyuli flew to Bhuj for the last shooting schedule of Rashmi Rocket.

Rashmi Rocket: Taapsee, Abhishek, Priyanshu engage in banter on a flight to Bhuj

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 10:49 AM IST
Taapsee Pannu boarded a flight to Bhuj with co-actors Abhishek Banerjee and Priyanshu Painyuli and they all cracked jokes on Instagram.
Close
Kriti Kharbanda will now be seen in 14 Phere.
Kriti Kharbanda will now be seen in 14 Phere.

Kriti Kharbanda: Learning to say no in my career is my biggest achievement

By Juhi Chakraborty
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 10:45 AM IST
She had a single release in 2020 with direct to digital but Kriti Kharbanda says she is extremely happy with the pace of her career as she is making all the right choices
Close
Actor Sidharth Malhotra has three films lined up next- Shershaah, Mission Majnu and Thank God.
Actor Sidharth Malhotra has three films lined up next- Shershaah, Mission Majnu and Thank God.

Sidharth Malhotra’s birthday plans: I have my parents in town

By Rishabh Suri
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 10:41 AM IST
Actor Sidharth Malhotra, who turns 36 on January 16, talks about his plans, a jam packed 2021 with a lot of films, and more.
Close
The couple has been reading books on parenthood.
The couple has been reading books on parenthood.

Nakuul Mehta: It is tough to know what kind of parents we would be

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 10:36 AM IST
In an exclusive interview, the actor talks about gearing up for fatherhood, being overwhelmed with information and advice, and why dads aren’t asked about their emotions.
Close
Sakshi Jhala has often spoken in favour of Eijaz Khan on her social media.
Sakshi Jhala has often spoken in favour of Eijaz Khan on her social media.

Eijaz Khan's friend Sakshi Jhala was asked about marrying him, see her reply

UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 10:23 AM IST
Actor Eijaz Khan, who is one of contestants on Bigg Boss 14, has had his share of ups and downs on the show. Showing him her support has been his friend Sakshi Jhala. Now, in an AMA session, she was asked by fans about marrying him. Check out her reply.
Close
Sara Ali Khan, Ananya Panday posed with Manish Malhotra at Karan Johar's residence.
Sara Ali Khan, Ananya Panday posed with Manish Malhotra at Karan Johar's residence.

Sara Ali Khan, Ananya Panday bond at Karan Johar's party, see pics

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 08:25 AM IST
Actor Sara Ali Khan and senior fashion designer Manish Malhotra shared pictures after attending a party at Karan Johar's residence. Also present were Ananya Panday and Gauri Khan.
Close
Rubina Dilaik cries as she tells Salman Khan that she feels let down by Abhinav Shukla.(Colors)
Rubina Dilaik cries as she tells Salman Khan that she feels let down by Abhinav Shukla.(Colors)

Bigg Boss 14 promo: Salman Khan says Abhinav let Rubina down, she agrees

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 07:26 AM IST
Bigg Boss 14 promo: Salman Khan asks Rubina Dilaik if Abhinav Shukla let her down, she says 'yes sir'. He also scolds Sonali Phogat for her fight with Rubina.
Close
Sidharth Malhotra in a still from his first TV commercial for Pond's.
Sidharth Malhotra in a still from his first TV commercial for Pond's.

Here's how Sidharth Malhotra struggled at TV auditions before film debut

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 07:11 AM IST
Sidharth Malhotra had once opened up about how he had a very tough time at auditions before he made his Bollywood debut with Student of the Year in 2012.
Close
Sonali Phogat has been fighting a lot for past few days.(Colors)
Sonali Phogat has been fighting a lot for past few days.(Colors)

Bigg Boss 14 day 101: Nikki, Rubina say they don’t feel safe with Sonali

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:26 AM IST
Bigg Boss 14 day 101: While Sonali had an ugly showdown with Rubina Dilaik, Nikki Tamboli and Arshi Khan were also her target in other incidents. Even show host Salman Khan was dragged in several fights in the house.
Close
Prakash Raj is the latest addition to the cast of Ponniyin Selvan.
Prakash Raj is the latest addition to the cast of Ponniyin Selvan.

Prakash Raj joins the cast of Mani Ratnam’s period drama Ponniyin Selvan

By Haricharan Pudipeddi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:11 PM IST
  • Prakash Raj is the latest addition to the cast of Mani Ratnam's ambitious period drama Ponniyin Selvan. The two first worked together in Iruvar in 1997.
Close
Priyanka Chopra and Adarsh Gourav in The White Tiger.
Priyanka Chopra and Adarsh Gourav in The White Tiger.

Priyanka Chopra drops Divine's banging original song from White Tiger. Listen

PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:02 PM IST
  • Priyanka Chopra has shared Jungle Mantra, an original song from the White Tiger soundtrack, by Divine, featuring Vince Staples and Pusha T. Listen here.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP